Police and First Nations: mixed teams, especially in Joliette

Police and First Nations: mixed teams, notably in Joliette

Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Security.

Quebec has set aside an envelope of $ 11.7 million over four years to set up new mixed teams aimed at improving police relations with the First Nations in certain regions. One of these teams will be located in Joliette, where the tragic death of Joyce Echaquan took place, which shocked the province.

These teams will also be deployed in the cities of Maniwaki, Roberval and Chibougamau. They will be made up of police officers and community workers who will have received special training. “The formula of mixed patrols has proved its worth here and elsewhere in America, and I am convinced that it will once again lead to positive changes in our living environments,” said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security public, Geneviève Guilbault, during a press conference, Monday.

Selected community workers will receive special training to deal with individuals struggling with issues such as alcohol and drug use, social disruption and homelessness. The teams' mandate will be to quickly refer vulnerable people to the appropriate services, and to ensure coexistence between people in homelessness and local populations.

“Relations between First Nations and the police must be strengthened. Adequate representation of First Nations is essential in the current context, and we must work together in a spirit of reconciliation, ”says Kitigan Zibi Band Council Chief Dylan Whiteduck.

The creation of these teams stems from a recommendation from the Viens commission, the Commission of Inquiry into the relations between Aboriginals and certain public services in Quebec. The Action Group against Racism also stressed the merits of such an initiative.

Almost a week ago, Quebec announced the creation of a post of Indigenous Community Development Advisor in the Prevention and Urban Safety Division within the City Police Department of Montreal (SPVM).

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